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Home Page Version 2 Forums General Discussion What’s an MQ-9 Squadron Like?

  • What’s an MQ-9 Squadron Like?

    Posted by Biggs on June 22, 2024 at 1:10 am

    For those who are curious to other types of pilot jobs (or for people looking for a good deal), MQ-9s can offer something unique and rewarding. I have flown both manned and unmanned aircraft and have been flying the MQ-9 for over 4 years. An MQ-9 Guard squadron is unique in many ways to a manned flying squadron. Hopefully this post can clear up the fog of expectations and highlight some unique advantages that can only be found due to the nature of a dislocated operation. Below are some highlights of the differences and advantages of joining an MQ-9 Guard squadron.

    Schedule: MQ-9 units run 24/7 operations, 7 days a week and through holidays on a shift schedule (Days, Swings, Mids). There are many ways squadrons skin this cat, but in general the week is split up into two sides, Sunday thru Wednesday, and Wednesday thru Saturday(Guardsman only work 4 days a week!). This gives 6 options for pilots to adjust their schedule too (if you are new, expect the mid shift).

    Quality of life: You like your family? You like actually doing missions with real world implications? Tired of sacrificing one for the other? MQ-9s do both. You get to hack the mish, but see your family everyday. Very few work trips/TDYs (unless you want them) and NO deployments (because the robot IS deployed already!).

    Pay (i.e. full time orders availability). This is a unique advantage that very few flying units are afforded: almost unlimited orders! Basically, to cover 24/7 operations MQ-9 units are given a healthy amount of MPA orders (active duty orders). This can get very in the weeds, but to put it bluntly, if you want to be full time, you can. If you want to only be full time for a month here or a month there, you can. If you want to not be full time, you can! You have options in the MQ-9. It is very doable to do an entire 20 year career on MPA as a drill status guardsman (very rare in a manned flying unit).

    Bonus point for aspiring Airline pilots. The full time orders that MQ-9 pilots get are combat orders (contingency orders). Meaning, they are USERRA exempt. MEANING that if you get hired by an airline and get a line number, you can drop military leave for an unlimited time (e.g. you get hired by an airline with lets say 10 years time left for an active duty military retirement, you can finish all 10 years in anMQ-9 unit and return to the airlines 10 years senior).

    Mission satisfaction. MQ-9s are everywhere, flying all the time, and can go places manned aircraft would not dare (in peacetime). You will see the real deal and return in kind.

    This was real wavetop, but please let me know if you have any questions or want me to expand on anything!

    Biggs replied 3 weeks, 3 days ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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